Deputy Chief Paco Balderrama becomes first Hispanic promoted to the Oklahoma City police rank
An El Paso native who was an Oklahoma County jailer before becoming a police officer has become the first Hispanic to be promoted to the rank of deputy chief in Oklahoma City.
Deputy Chief Paco Balderrama, 42, said he had a lot of help from other law officers along the way.
Born in El Paso, Balderrama moved with his family to Oklahoma City in 1993 where he graduated from U.S. Grant High School in 1995 along with his twin brother, Beto Balderrama.
After high school graduation, both 18-year-old men joined the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department as detention officers. In 1999, both men decided to become police officers. Beto Balderrama is a captain on the Oklahoma City police force today.
"My brother and I really wanted to give back to our community and we really thought that law enforcement was the best way to do that," Paco Balderrama said. "Our ultimate goal was to become Oklahoma City police officers."
During a promotion ceremony at Oklahoma City police headquarters Thursday, both men and their families posed for photographs and thanks friends and co-workers.
"Here we are 20 years later and we've been so successful because of the help and support of many people in this building, and I look forward to the future and the next 20 years ahead of me and what good we can do down here and what progress we can make. I'm pretty excited about it," Balderrama said.
Balderrama is one of four deputy chiefs in Oklahoma City.
- Related to this story
- Video: Balderrama promoted to Deputy Chief
Chief Bill City said Balderrama became a leader in the department and community.
"We want to thank him for stepping up into such a leadership role for the police department. He has also done a lot working with the Latino community and helping us work through a lot of major issues over the years. It is my honor today to promote Paco Balderrama to the rank of deputy chief," Citty said.